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Equipping 200,000 rural Americans with new tools

BARC is one of several electric utility co-ops participating in a program announced in 2008, which offers broadband access via existing power line infrastructure to nearly 200,000 rural customers in Alabama, Indiana, Michigan and Virginia. This is being made possible by a cooperative initiative between IBM and International Broadband Electric Communications, Inc. (IBEC), an Internet Service Provider. IBM is providing the overall technical expertise, project management, and training of the crews who are installing the Broadband over Power Line (BPL) equipment.

“I do not believe it’s an exaggeration to say that broadband service is the single most important technological issue of this generation—one that will have as great an impact on society as electricity and telephone service.”

Bruce King, CEO of BARC Electric Cooperative in Virginia.

The IBM and IBEC effort will bring broadband access to scores of the nearly 45 percent of Americans who do not have it today—providing knowledge resources to fuel the expansion of small businesses and drive economic growth.

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